Friday, December 28, 2007

Pi anyone?

So I've had my eye on Elizabeth Zimmerman's Pi Shawl for a while now, but it wasn't until I bumped into someone (a new friend!) on Ravelry that I decided to jump off and do it. She had stumbled upon someone who varied EZ's increases to 4 simple increases EVERY round. I'm knitting EZ's Pi in st st with 4 increases every round (see the pretty increase spirals)!

I also opted out of EZ's start method instead I used a simple join in the round. I like the hole. What can I say! This is such a very addictive pattern to work up. I have a really hard time stopping. I'm also using it to bust through stash. There's a little bit of everything in here.

In other news, I designed my first sweater -- for a dog. This time, I think the recipient dog will be more appreciative than my own yarn-chewing Schnoodle. I knit it top down in one piece, and while it's a very basic dog sweater, I'm very very proud of the fit and the engineering that I did. I don't have any pics of the dog wearing the sweater yet, but here's some of the FO.

I measured the dog's neck, multiplied that by my gauge, cast on, joined in the round, and knit a long turtleneck. Then I made some increases. When I got to the leg holes, I worked the piece flat in two pieces, binding off two stitches for each leg. After the leg holes were the desired length, I joined the two flat pieces and knit in the round a bit longer for the stomach before binding off and working the back flat, ending in 2x2 rib. See?

Back to Pi...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas 'o Christmas

Here I sit, working on my second one-skein project of the day. The first was a hat knit from some old bulky stash -- it's remains are becoming a dog sweater for a dog friend who needs a sweater (no, not my yarn-chewing, unappreciative fluff of Schnoodle).

I'm thinking about Christmas, the boys are overflowing with excitement. Eli has tried to convince me that he can sleep with his eyes open on Christmas Eve despite my telling him that Santa just won't come until everyone is asleep.

Tomorrow we feast - Cuban style. Pork tenderloin, frijoli negros, flancito. The presents are wrapped, Santa is ready, and as I try to reflect a bit on the year behind me and the new year approaching, I can't say anything better or more eloquently than my pal mamacate said it.

In my early 30's we were 5 years into trying to start our family. I relied on angel friends (including mamacate) through those years. On December 18 of this month, I turned 40, and we are now 8 years into parenthood -- a family bursting at the seams with 3 busy boys. A healthy household with more blessings than we can count. May I live intentionally, embrace each moment instead of pushing through it. Celebrate the magic and not-so-magic all around and live it -- the good, the bad, and the ugly -- fully and with great intention.

Ditto Cate, ditto!!!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Some things you don't know about me

  1. I used to work a switch board
  2. There were 125 in my high school graduating class
  3. I've seen James Taylor in concert 9 times
  4. I have freckles
  5. I want to vacation with my family in an RV
  6. I want to be a dolphin trainer "when I grow up"
  7. I'm afraid of horses
  8. Cindy Sue and I sat through Ferris Bueller's Day Off twice (once without paying) when we were in high school (I did a lot more crazy things than this in college)
  9. I inhaled; I didn't like it
  10. I'm a control freak (see #9)
  11. I want to go to the Olympic games in Canada
  12. I love black comedies (War of the Roses is one of my favorites)
  13. My mother dated one of President Jimmy Carter's secret service agents
  14. Everyone in my family is Republican; I'm not
  15. My brother and I used to make TV and radio commercials
  16. I can't twirl my "r's"
  17. I can't play percussion anything but I can dance a hole in the ground
  18. I love beer (the darker the better)
  19. I can parallel park like a pro
  20. The Glass Castle is one of my favorite books
  21. I used to read a lot before I learned to knit
  22. I believe I'm still a size 10
  23. I want to live in a snowy climate
  24. I own a shortwave radio
  25. I collect Fiestaware

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Knitting magic

So I'm knitting on the project-from-hell that I can't blog about, but let's just say that I kicked some serious knitting butt last night. I swear it took me three hours and two phone calls (thanks L & J) but it turned out that I was basically freaking myself out for no reason. I kicked that pattern's arse!

Lastly, since I can't show you the project, I thought I'd show you my own little Alice Cooper:

This is one of my 5 y.o. twins who decided to play with my mascara. I should win an Academy Award for maintaining a stern mommy face while I took this picture! Admit it, you'd have taken the pic too -- he was just so pretty!!!! LOL!

Happy hump day friends!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I get by with a little help from my friends...

So even I the lover of all things st st in the round has begun to get tired of the Portland Sweater. Not only that, but in my lovely little fantasy world I'm still a size 10 and thought that trying the sweater on while still on the needles would be a good idea.

I'm a buffoon.

I managed to slip no less than 15 to 20 stitches off the needles in this endeavor...and I did this not once but TWICE.

I picked them back up, realized that I had a fuzzy mess right IN FRONT of the sweater and was beginning to develop a bad attitude toward the sweater. Then my angel friend came by. I'd tell you who she is but she's shy. There's even a pic of her in a previous blog entry but I didn't identify her because she's shy. She may be shy, but she is one of those knitting marvels who LOVES to fix knitting mistakes. She actually finds them soothing and challenging.

Folks, there are 252 stitches on this freakin' sweater and SHE sat down for at least and hour and fixed tiny little twisted stitches and floaters and did it HAPPILY! Of course, I felt like a complete idiot for not being that kind of knitter...but I'm just not. If I started getting hung up on (what I think are) tiny mistakes then knitting isn't fun for me. OH I love my friend.

I get by with a little help from my friends...

Friday, October 5, 2007

Why I knit

Let me tell you a little about Joyce Sue. She's my grandmama, and she's my heart. I love her to the moon and back. My little brother and I made wonderfully magic memories during visits to her north Texas home when we were kids. She's "a tough 'ol bird." She has a laugh that is beyond contagious and a sense of humor that I'm jealous as hell that I didn't inherit. Did I also mention that she's a tough 'ol bird who has lived a life that would make one hell of an entertaining novel?

Grandmama has congestive heart failure and is living nothing short of 9 lives -- even according to her own physician. There's been more moments of panic, sorrow, and tears than I can recount followed by moments of joy, celebration, and laughter at her miraculous recoveries. God must be keeping her around a bit longer so she can really do something special. God's a pretty smart 'ol gal herself!

Grandmama lives with my mom and step-dad ("Pop") in the "west wing" of their house. The west wing is a recent addition to their 1950's ranch that includes a sitting area, handicap accessible restroom, and two bedrooms. Mom cares not only for Grandmama but for her MIL, Grandma Bonnie. (Translation: jewels in Mom's crown!)

So today the boys and I loaded up and drove 1 hr. to visit Mom, Grandmama, and Grandma Bonnie. Our birthday present to Grandmama was this pair of socks:

Hitch in the gitty-up: Grandmama walks with a walker (when she's not in a wheel chair) and these socks will cause her to slip and fall if she's wearing them without with shoes. However, I knew Grandmama would love them, so I gave them to her, and while I was there, I used puffy paint to paint traction spots on the soles of them.

Grandmama was mortified at the thought of painting on handmade socks, but I knit them for her to wear not admire. I know she is thrilled knowing that she can now wear them without breaking her neck (or hip, or arm, or leg).

I took Grandmama's picture with the traction-spotted socks. She said: "I'm not photogenic at all and I don't care if I look ugly, just don't make me look dumb." I think you will agree that she looks anything BUT dumb and she's certainly radiating beauty, eh?

Did I mention that I love my grandmama to the moon and back?

This is why I knit. I don't knit for my things to sit in a drawer or closet going unused. I knit for the people I love to enjoy.

I love you Flossie!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Kicking arse and taking names

I'm still totally totally digging the Portland sweater...although since I'm knitting it with Plymouth yarn I catch myself calling it the Plymouth sweater. I'm a little more than half done with the second sleeve. Only regret so far: that I didn't do something different with the cuff -- maybe more garter stitch. It's rolling up a bit, but I haven't blocked it yet so I'm optimistic.

Pretty 'eh? I don't know if it's gutless or wise but I decided not to bind off the first sleeve yet as I'm not convinced the length will work. Words cannot express how much I love this yarn (Plymouth Royal Silk Merino). It's got the most beautiful sheen and drape and the color (gasp)! It's just wonderful.

The problem is that with this much stockinette in the round I haven't done jack with my socks...but the sock yarn keeps arriving.

See what I mean?

It's mostly DK as I find myself still in instant gratification mode when it comes to socks. Want some, go to Etsy. I love what I've bought so far -- check out yarnmagnet, yarnchef, gypsyknits, and squoosh. I love my fingering weight yarns in theory (remember my love affair with the Jitterbug?) but I just marvel at knitting a sock in 2 days in DK the thicker socks seem sturdier to me.

I'm fantasizing about finishing the Portland sweater this weekend, and I'll have about 3-4 hours of prime knitting time while DH and I watch OU beat the hell out of Texas in football.

Boomer Sooner!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sweet Stockinette (bom bom bom) Good Times Never Seemed So Good....(Neil Diamond eat your heart out!)

First of all, let me say that I realize I'm not the first knitting blogger to apologize for her lack of blogging because of Ravelry distractions. Ravelry is just so very very much fun -- seriously, seriously fun!!!!. I love seeing my friends there, looking up their WIP's and looking up projects that I want to make. Look for me. I'm knittingmother!

With that in mind, I started on the Portland sweater (scroll down a bit to see the pics) pattern from Valley Yarns. I'm making mine in luscious (and I mean LUSCIOUS) Royal Silk Merino from Plymouth Yarns -- it's 51% silk and 49% merino and it's a deep rich red and did I mention that I love it? It's my favorite yarn today. Not only that, but the Portland sweater pattern is so beautifully mindless. It's almost 98% stockinette and knit in the round. I got some wonderfully kind help from plazajen (via Ravelry). She's da bomb! I believe we were both in Wichita when the Harlot was there, though I didn't know her then. Who knew?!

I cast on Thursday night (late) and this pic was taken early Saturday. As of this writing I'm 1" from finishing the sleeve...although I think I've been knitting the same 1" since 10:30 this a.m. LOL!!! I love the pattern, love the drape of the yarn...just love it all the way around. I think I'll be really happy with the finished project even though it likely won't be a fitted-looking finish (it's a rather swingy sweater).

Knittingjournal if you read this, look on the counter behind my sleeve. You'll see a box there (it formerly held trash bags). That's your package waiting to be mailed. Hopefully it will go out tomorrow!

See you at Ravelry!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I'm beginning to play a little more on Ravelry. It's so very much fun. You can find me as "knittingmother" -- there's so much there. Freakin' overwhelming in a totally wonderful way.
I finished BSJ #2 this time sans eyelet at the increases.

I've yet to sew it up or add buttons as I'm taking it to my knitting group (Common Thread) tomorrow and thought it would be fun to pass around for party tricks.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A little perspective

You could've knocked me over with a bamboo dpn when I saw the newest Old Navy commercial on TV. It's a commercial for their fair isle sweater collection that features the music of Ingrid Michaelson's song The Way I Am. I first heard The Way I Am on the marveous podcast Cast-On, and I immediately bought the CD. LOVE IT! Can't stop singing it. Check out the commercial, and let me know what you think of the song.

It's amazing what a few days distance from a finished project does to your perspective. I stitched up the shoulders on the eyelet-ridden BSJ and put on the buttons.

I'm immensely proud that I completed it, and I love that knitterly denial pushed me through to the end despite the eyelet. Buttons make it, and I gave it to my niece yesterday. She should get good wear out of it this season as it is sized just right for her petite little 2 y.o. frame.

Work continues on the second eyelet-free BSJ, and I just cast on some new socks using some delicious custom yarn purchased on Etsy. That's an entry for another day or two when I can post a finished sock for you all to see.

Friday, September 21, 2007


I would not win an award for mother of the year today. Getting three boys out of the door for school has to be done with military precision. We are organized. We practice the 3 B's (Bed made; Bodies dressed; Breakfast eaten).

Instead, one of my 5 y.o. twins decided that the best way to look for his shoes was simply to walk through the house saying "I can't find my shoes." UGH! Everyone else had their shoes where they were supposed to be, but not this child. On top of that, add a mother who hates to be late and is only two cups of coffee into her day. Well...let's just say that I got them all to school in plenty of time with no blood involved...but it was nip and tuck for a few minutes here at the house. Heard of the Duggar family of 19 in Arkansas? They homeschool, and here I am in the midst of a shoe crisis getting 3 out the door to school!

In other news, my new Knit Picks Options Harmony needles arrived. I quickly put my newest BSJ on it (I'm hell bent on doing those increases correctly) and I'm thrilled. Some folks have expressed concerns that the colors would interfere with their work. I'm working with a lively self-striping DK yarn that is holding up just fine against the colors of the needles. In fact, I love the way the colors flash in and out of the yarn. Very mesmerizing. They are very very smooth and very sturdy (I'm working on size 4's) and the points are PERFECT!

Need to run to the fabric store today to find some buttons for the eyelet BSJ. Hope to finish the second BSJ this weekend.

In the meantime, time for another cuppa.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I did it!

I did it! I did it! I did it! I finished my BSJ. Is it perfect? Far from it!

Do my increases look like eyelet? Yes!

Will I pretend the eyelet is intentional decoration? Yes!

Are they supposed to look like eyelet? No!

Do I give a damn? Hell NO! (considering that this is my fourth attempt at mastering this pattern! )

I also have no doubt that I couldn't have done it had I not found a magical cheat sheet on-line (sorry, copyrights don't allow me to post the link here, but I found it on Google).

I am soooo proud that I was able to fold this error-filled piece of something into this:

I have sewn no seams or buttons. I don't care. For tonight, my little BSJ is wrapped up in a towel out of reach of Max-the-yarn-chewing-wonder dog. I will curse my inability to understand the EZ's desired method of increases tomorrow when I sew up the seams. Tonight I am a near genius for finally kicking this pattern's ass!

Monday, September 17, 2007

A road trip well worth the trip

My girlfriends and I hoofed it up I-35 yesterday to see the Yarn Harlot in Wichita, KS. And in honor of the Harlot herself, today's blog entry will be in the form of a list:

1. The girls and I had a great time. Some of us "bullied" Hillary into starting her first sock:

Despite the usage of the harsh word (bullied) I assure you that Hillary was very excited to be biting into her first sock.

2. Wichita is a nice town. I've never been there before, and I enjoyed myself. It's got art, great shops and food. Some of us dropped some coin; some of us dropped a lot of coin; some of dropped a little coin. Apparently Lindsey thought it important to catch me in action:

I'm in red, and that's the owner of Twist, Shelly, happily helping taking my money. Shelly was a delight. Very very gracious and helpful and again, she has a great shop.
3. There was also lots of fondling:

Lindsey fondling some lovely wool.

Chris and Hillary were all about the stuff.

And Hillary knit some more on her sock. It seems like just yesterday that we coerced her into changing her 100'th scarf into a bag, and here she is starting her first sock (sniff sniff):

4. Then we walked about a block down the street to eat a quick bite at a little Mexican restaurant. There was beer, warm chips, spicy salsa, and an exciting afternoon in store.

5. But really, let's get to the good stuff -- the Harlot. She was a delight. Witty, smart, wildly entertaining, and everything you could've ever imagined or wanted. The venue was very very roomy and very very chilly (which I loved, but then I have extra insulation).

And when the Harlot arrived, the energy rippled through the room. None of my pics of her behind the podium came out worth a damn, but this one did.

A lovely young girl standing behind me took this picture. I commented that I didn't need a do-over on the pic even though I looked "old and pissed" -- Stephanie related to my comments (being the victim of photos like this for years and years herself) -- but she's a real trooper. We like her....I brought her a small gift (hope it was good and cold, Steph) but what I should've brought her was an ice pack for her signature hand. How she manages to sign all those books legibly is beyond me.

Then when it was almost over, I heard a loud chorus of voices shouting my name. More Oklahoma folks were there. Meet my favorite masseuse (near left) and the rest of the Oklahoma contingent:

But now I must dash. Time for a bit of yoga.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I'm in!!!!!!!

OMG OMG OMG OMG I got my invitation to Ravelry!!!!!!!!!

Watch out!

Doing the Snoopy dance!

Friday, September 14, 2007

I need an intervention

I really need an intervention. I just bound off a pair of socks (dk weight that I started Monday), and I should pick up either the BSJ or the present from hell. Instead, all I want to do is dive into this lovely bowl of sock yarn:

and whip up something delectable! (Yes, you may remember seeing this picture in a previous entry. But it's so beautiful I had to use it again!)

In addition, I'm suffering from dirty house syndrome. I have de-shi**ed some shelves in desperate need of deshi**ing (applause please), I've done some laundry and made a tomato soup cake too (my first...I'll let you know). I still need to mop my floor and clean my kitchen. I need to put away laundry and maybe even vacuum. I'm selfish...all I want to do is cast on for another pair of socks.

Someone tell me to step away from the sock yarn, work on one of my other two WIP's or clean the damn house.

....guess I could've mopped the floor in the time it took me to write this.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mattie Marie

My grandmother, Mattie Marie, was born on April 19, 1911, just 4 years after Oklahoma became a state. When her mother ran out of milk to nurse her, she had a nurse maid who was a neighbor. Grandmother was a child of the depression who got a college education, married, had three children, and was a beloved elementary school teacher.

Grandmother was also a master of handwork. When she wasn't bustling in the kitchen, she was crocheting or knitting or quilting. One of my most treasured items of hers is a quilt that was pieced by her mother and quilted by Grandmother 70+ years later on a quilting frame my grandaddy made for her. That quilting frame is still in use by her church family in the Texas panhandle. Every Christmas for years brought us a pair of crocheted house slippers. She crocheted afghans for each of her three children and five grandchildren. Each of our children got baby blankets, and we each got at least one quilt.

She tried to teach me to crochet when I was a young girl. It didn't take. When Grandmother died last summer, I inherited her needlework basket (I'm still sad that she never knew that I came to love knitting). I also inherited a bag of embroidered, knitted, crocheted, and tatted items. Of these items, there seemed to be a plethora of unidentifiable tatted pieces that looked like this:

I couldn't tell if they were intended to be dresser scarves, place mats, or doilies. They weren't doing anyone any good sitting in a bag, and it was very much unlike my grandmother, a child of the depression, to make something and not use it or gift it.

I decided to honor her by putting these otherwise useless items to use. I contacted an angel friend, Lisa, who fell in love with the pieces. I told her I was desperate to turn them into something usable but I was at a loss (of imagination and skill) to know what they should become. Lisa lovingly took the items and ran ran ran with them. This is what she has made:

Lisa is also a master of handwork. She treasures family heirlooms and handmade items, and she is so unbelievably creative. She applied Grandmother's pieces delicately and lovingly by hand to a quilt. She even sewed on a little info. square on the back so that I can write in the history behind the piece. It's my understanding that there are enough pieces of Grandmother's work for her to make three blankets. What a treasure that I now have to share with my family.
Thanks to angel Lisa for honoring my Mattie Marie and for creating usable treasures my family will cherish for generations.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Stash Enhancement

So much for my yarn diet! One of my LYS had a HUGE store wide (I repeat: STORE WIDE) 50% off sale over the weekend. I bought yarn yarn yarn and it was fun fun fun! I spent quality time in advance planning projects I want to make so I went there with a specific mission and I only fell off the wagon a couple or three times when I found something I just had to have. Let me tell ya', 50% off makes a big 'ol difference. I got yarn for two (or three) felted Lucy bags and a sweater for $79! Am I a rock star or what?

In the meantime, I kicking the BSJ's arse! How do I know? I know because I FINALLY got past the "screw it and rip it" point in the first ball of yarn AND I started on the second ball of yarn. It's hard to knit confidently for fear that I'm screwing something up, but it's nice to know that she at least resembles other BSJ's in progress I've seen on-line.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Road Trip

I've been planning it for a few weeks, but now we're just days away from scooting up the interstate to see The Yarn Harlot in Wichita, KS.

OMG can you say EXCITING!! Her. The Yarn Harlot. You're jealous aren't you? Admit it!

A few girlfriends and I have a day of knitting, munching, and listening planned. We'll leave in the morning and return in early evening. Wichita is about 2 to 2.5 hours away. Lots of time to knit in the car!!!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Great expectations

Here's my plan. I'm going to cast on for the BSJ again today. I'm going to try it again. I'm going to crawl inside that pattern and live and breathe it. I. Will. Make. The. BSJ.

....and I may watch a bit of football today!

Boomer Sooner!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Me and EZ and her BSJ

Here's the deal with me and EZ and her BSJ. She's a genius. Not only is she a genius, but she is apparently a math genius.

I have an English degree, which means that I am numerically illiterate.

I tried the *($#'ing BSJ again tonight. I figured out where to put the stitch markers, I knit forth, I was DOING IT -- but there's just too much counting -- too much math -- three too many boys interrupting. It's just not working.

I'm a miserable failure.

I remain numerically illiterate.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

For Chocolate Sheep

Ms. Beth? Ms. Beth??? Where are you? I can't help but think of the following every time I go to your blog and see that it's been days since you've posted....

Lyrics to Maggie May (Rod Stewart)

Wake up Maggie I think I got something to say to you
Its late September and I really should be back at school
I know I keep you amused but I feel I'm being used
Oh Maggie I couldn't have tried any more
You lured me away from home just to save you from being alone
You stole my heart and that's what really hurt....

Where are you darlin'????

Check in with us!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Working my way through the stash

I'm getting over being pissed and bitter about Max-the-yarn-chewing dog and have resumed work on his latest yarn snack. Do you think he looks like a yarn-snacking Schnoodle?

Sweet huh? He found this masterpiece -- this lovely lovely hand painted yarn that made this lovely sock.

Then he promptly chewed it to bits -- okay, two big holes but only one is shown here.

So here's what I've done. First of all, it became painfully obvious to me that I knit the ill-fated sock obscenely too long.

I finished what would have been the second sock (but it is now the first). See? It's at a much more manageable length, too.

And in a stroke of pure luck, I dropped a note to Painted Skeins on Etsy who just happened to have a cake of the same dye-lot. It wasn't quite a skein, but it was enough for this 'ol gal to knit confidently through to the next sock. And that is exactly what I'm doing. I'm confident that I won't run out of yarn from the cake, but in case I do, I am armed with scissors to cut into Max's handiwork, boldly retrieve enough yarn to finish the job, and call these socks DONE!

I did a little something different on the toe of this pair. I didn't decrease all the way down 8 stitches. I kitchnered at somewhere around 14 stitches. The toe looks much more square, but to my eyes, it looks much more normal than some of these very pointy toes I've done in the past. 14 stitches in DK yarn is a big 'ol chunkof kitchnering. I don't know if I'll do it again as I feel as though I'm doing something wickedly unfair to the sock gods...
Here's a pic of the one completed sock, the other that's on the sticks, and the remains of the first sock that was attacked by Max.

And if you're not exhausted after trying to sort through all this, then this will help you continue on through your day. A bit of yarn p-o-r-n. This is what has arrived in the last few weeks. It keeps me motivated to knit on so I can dive into the next pair of socks. Oh how fun!!

I also knocked out an amazing amount on the project from hell over the long weekend. I'm about 2/3'rd done. WOOO HOOO!!! It isn't rocket science knitting, but it takes a few brain cells and really must be knit when the children aren't around lest I really jack it up!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Food glorious food (and other stuff)

I'm hardly mother earth, I don't even subscribe. I do, however, remember reading my mom's copies of the Foxfire Book(s) with fascination about the different ways people live, make, earn, and strive to do better and be better. Let me repeat, I'm hardly mother earth....I'm just a wanna be.

But if you've ever wondered, wanted to do better, or be better, check out your local food coop and frequent your local farmer's market. I joined my local food coop recently and have been ecstatic with my purchases. It feels so very good to be helping local farmers (who need all the help they can get) and to help my family by providing them with healthy, local alternatives in our home. There's always something good and healthy -- and even different stuff that will excite my little (and big) men. As far as food coop's go, there's usually a modest membership fee, but to quote a popular ad campaign...membership has its privileges.

Go forth, find your local food coop (or farmer's market). Order and then order again next month and let me know what you think!

Friday, August 31, 2007

On the move

I think the title is deceiving as I'm not really on the move since I really jacked my back up from my obsessive spinning last Saturday. My lower back is very sore and tired feeling. Got a massage earlier this week which helped, and I'm keeping ice on it. Moral of the story: proper chair and lots of small breaks. Must remember this.

In the knitting world, I'm working on the monster project from hell with renewed excitement. I have put the beautiful Max-damaged socks to the wayside for now as I'm still too bitter to look at them. Beautiful DK sock yarn has arrived and is in the basket on my table taunting me with their brilliant colors. I will get to them in due time but I'm too busy acting on the momentum from the project from hell.

Holiday weekend here I come!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Take me out back and beat me senseless. Call me a fool. Tell me I should never go near needles again. What's the saying, "(something or other) me once shame on you, (something or other) again, shame on me."

See that BEAUTIFUL sock below that's pink and green with hints of butter cream yellow? It has two HUGE holes in it from the freakin' schnoodle. How many times will it take before I learn. Hell, the damn dog was right beside me (as was the sock). I took for granted that the dog wouldn't be stupid enough to chew it up while he laid beside me, so I didn't even catch him in the act. I didn't even find the holes until 2 hours later.

I quit. I quit. I quit. Anyone want to adopt an adorable puppy that chews up WIP's?

Stupid me!

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Victoria and I bonded today. It started about 10:00 a.m. when I got her out and realized she wasn't going to cooperate, so I introduced her to my boys.

That's my five year-old twins taking her for a spin. Seth is at the helm, and Eli the engineer is breaking down the mechanics of the wheel. Seth's first words when he treadled for the first time "Mom, I could do this forever" (I shit you not!!! that's what he said).

Then I called Gwen the Enabler for help getting Victoria to cooperate. She tried, and then we called Donna for help. They are officially, without a doubt, the nicest and most generous enablers I've ever known in my entire life. Truly. These are amazing women! Did you know that Donna drove an HOUR to solve Victoria's problems and sell me a $4.00 spring for Victoria? I am beyond lucky two have these two wise women in my life.

So I went home where Victoria and I bonded under the shade of our sweet gum in the front yard.

I turned piles of beautiful pink roving (created by Gwen the Enabler) into this.

This is my very first ever full bobbin of homespun. It's riddled with inconsistencies, but it's absolutely positively beautiful, don't you agree?!

Then when I ran out of pink roving, I plunged into a big bag of brown pencil roving and made this.

Then I looked up, realized that 3 hours had passed. It was time to feed and bathe my children (and myself), but most importantly, I needed to call Gwen the Enabler to get more roving tomorrow!

Yep, Victoria and I bonded and it's a really really cool thing!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

One down, one to go

And this is my first "one down" made from Painted Skeins ( yarn "Pimento" purchased on Etsy (

I took this pic in the middle of the day in full-on sun so you can't fully appreciate the colors which are pink and green with hints of butter cream yellow.

The best part is that it validates my self-worth as a sock knitter. I started this sock Sunday and finished it today. True it's a sportweight yarn, but really, one sock shouldn't take 2 months to knit like the *&#^$%* toe-up/top-down socks below.

Doing this Snoopy dance!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Isn't it ironic?

You may recall that I took a toe-up sock class in early July, and in early August I ripped them out after coming to turns with the fact that I was completely disenchanted with the toe-up process. Toe-up just isn't natural for me. It should not have taken me 4 weeks to figure this out, and by the time I ripped them out and started them again (this time top-down) it was another 3 weeks before I finished them. Finish them I indeed did on Saturday. Aren't they pretty??? Two months to finish a pair of socks.

You would never think, by looking at them, that they had such bad mojo. And as I pulled them off the needles, I guilty looked at the leftover yarn lamenting that I wouldn't have leftover yarn if I'd only made them toe-up.

THEN I found

the MOST horrifying thing...

Max the damn dog had attacked them:

Isn't it ironic that had I not switched to top-down I wouldn't have had enough yarn to rip back and re-do the toe? I did just that last night...ripped 'em back, put them back on SIZE 1's (eghads) and started again.

Isn't it ironic?

Friday, August 17, 2007

I'm being invaded by 1st graders

Today we celebrate the 7th birthday of my eldest angel son.

Alas, his birthday was in July but holidays, vacations, etc. have interfered. However, tonight we will have 6 little boys here to celebrate the birthday by watching the premiere of High School Musical 2. Have any of you had your TV's on the Disney Channel today? They actually have a freakin' countdown clock for the premiere. Marketing machine at work, eh?

Until then I knit on my socks. Haven't picked up the BSJ since I cast on the other night. I think I'm in denial.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A knitter? and Ann Budd

Maybe I'm not a Knitter but rather just a knitter. Why? Well, I picked up my BSJ after 4 days and promptly realized that I couldn't tell heads from tails and so I ripped. It. Out. This makes 2 rippings and a 3rd start on the same freaking WIP...although really. Really. Really? Really is it a WIP if you can't seem to make any progress on the work in progress? 3rd time has got to be a charm, right? I just don't think my life is conducive to following a written pattern (that isn't something like "knit 3 in. st. st.") -- the boys circle around me, the phone rings, the doorbell rings, the laundry know the drill. HOWEVER with this, my 3rd attempt at the BSJ, I will pick up a pen and make notes marking where I stopped and what I need to do next. I know that Knitters have been doing this for years..but remember, I'm just a knitter. ;-) Besides, after reading Chocolate Sheep today, it looks like we'll be starting at the same time since all I've done so far is cast-on. I need my BSJ buddy. Really.

I bought a new knitting book. I bought it on impulse after I fell in love with her newest book. Her who? Ann Budd. I've quickly learned that Ann Budd is a brilliantly wise and experienced knitter. I have been knitting socks for a while, but I've been itching for a resource that will give me size 101 and gauge 101 with various yarns. That problem was solved with Getting Started Knitting Socks, and just when I was thinking that there was no way in hell I would ever tackle a sweater, I stumbled upon the knitters handy book of sweater patterns (I promise the title is in lower case, promise). Both of these books are wonderful resources to have on hand when you're thinking about knitting socks or sweaters or want to modify an existing pattern. Ann is nothing short of thorough and she's definitely a Wise Woman.

Go forth and buy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

For Mom

Some of you Muggles (read: Mom) have commented that they would benefit from a translation of abbreviations in my recent entries.

Here goes: for a breakdown of BSJ (Baby Surprise Jacket) and EZ (Elizabeth Zimmerman) please see my July 22 entry.

LYS: local yarn store

FO: finished object

WIP: work in progress

Hang in there Muggles, I'll have you decipering knitting code in no time!

Monday, August 13, 2007

About the BSJ

About the BSJ. Kindly disregard the photos from my last post. I did www research, I found a glorious page with tips and hints. I realized I was indeed a buffoon, and I ripped it out. Yes, with reckless abandon I ripped out my BSJ. I started it again using the info. I found. I'm about where I was in the pictures, only this time (hopefully) I'm doing things right. Still lots of questions, like, where to put the freaking stitch markers. I'm just making it up -- I think I have the appropriate # of stitches before and after the markers on each end, ignoring one on each side in the middle and moving forward. I. Can. Do. This.

Now to see how Beth at Chocolate Sheep is managing her BSJ.

No progress since Friday as life/family/weekend activities interfered. The only progress I made was on some socks at a skating rink birthday party with my eldest. Oh and yeah I got my 39 y.o. arse on skates and I kept the 39 y.o. arse off the ground. I LOVE skating. Memories of being a 6th much fun.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

I'm stuck

I don't get it. I think half the free world is smarter than me. No, let me take that back, everyone is smarter than me and EZ is a freakin' knitting genius!!! Here's my BSJ to date:

The holes near the top of the picture are the M1's for above the cuff.

This is the entire piece as it is now. It measures a mere 2.5" in height.

I'm working it in Plymouth Jeannee (51% cotton/49% acrylic) -- remember I live in Oklahoma not Minnesota. ;-)

BUT HERE'S THE PROBLEM: I'm completely STUCK at the part where she says: "After 22 decr. (90 sts.), work 3 rows even, then start to inc...." I think this must be obvious (to everyone but me), but 22 decr. (90 sts.) has me spinning around on my size 4's. Does she mean 22 total decreases (4 per decrease row) or 22 total decrease rows. My piece is 2.5" long, hardly looks long enough for the 1+ y.o. size it is supposed to be. Can anyone help me?

Signed stuck in steamy Oklahoma...

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

There once was a man from Nantucket...

I'm a knitting bag whore. There. I said it. I'm a whore for knitting bags. I own almost as many bags of varying sizes as I have yarn in my stash. Note that I said almost.

So I my new best friend and I met at one of my LYS's the other day, and she told me about this magical bag she bought at the Maryland festival:

I went to the site, watched "the pitch" and bought myself the bag. I LOVE IT! It's so amazing with all those pockets, options, variations, etc. GO to the site, get one, and prepare to make it your favorite knitting bag. Mine is hot pink and lime green.

In other news, I sat down with The Opinionated Knitter and started my first BSJ last night. This one will be for my niece. I read somewhere that EZ doesn't spoon feed us the instructions on her patterns. GASP -- I've actually had to take pause a couple of times to make sure I'm doing things correctly. So far so good (I think). I hope to have it done by the weekend.

Now, go buy your Nantucket bag.

Monday, August 6, 2007


Life keeps interfering with my knitting. I won't bore you with the details except to say that despite my best efforts, I have miles to go before I get back to the sticks. In fact, I may have to go out to the sticks to pick up the sticks. This is bad news for me and my sanity. Must knit. Must knit now.

Have to feed the family instead. Darn it all!

In other news, our new Wii is a BLAST!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Let me just say this about that

I love moebius things. I think Cat Bordhi is a genius. I bought her two genius knitting books and am a fan of Socks Soar. Then a friend brought in her version of Cat's moebius shawl. I fell in love, I bought the yarn, I mastered the moebius cast-on and I knitted and knitted and knitted. Then I thought, this is a hell of a lot of work. She's really smart to have figured this out, but why don't I just knit a scarf, twist it and kitchner the two ends? So today I ripped my moebius shawl out. It felt good. I felt vindicated. Two rippings in one week. Free at last free at last.....

So it's me, the Christmas project from hell, socks, and a prayer shawl on the sticks.

Friday nights and knitting. MY FAVORITE TIME OF THE WEEK!!!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


I had a bad relationship with a toe-up sock. I tried; I took it to the gusset increases and started wrapping my brain around the heel flap. This took four weeks, but it should've taken three days. Today I decided the sock had too much bad mojo and I ripped. it. out. I love knitting socks, I can knit top-down socks in my sleep, but I have decided the toe-up socks, for me, just aren't worth it.

SO I started work on a prayer shawl for a dear sweet lady named Hazel. Hazel lost her husband to Alzheimer's years ago, and in recent years she has moved from her home to an assisted-living home. She's had some set-backs, and only recently had she begun getting excited about using her walker to eat in the dining room, meeting friends to play bingo, etc. She fell. I am knitting the prayer shawl with prayers of encouragement, healing, and love. I'm doing the basic pattern in knit 3/purl 3 alternating with purl 3/knit 3 each row AND I'm doing it with the Fibonacci sequence. I'm also doing on size 15 circulars and using Twinkle yarn. YUM!!!!!!!!! Wanna see?

And when I wasn't knitting the prayer shawl, I was staring at Victoria who was staring back at me with her long tongue of pink roving sticking out at me. The bottom line is that I'm an idiot. We won't talk about it any more today.

So after the stare down with Victoria, I re-started the sock -- this time TOP DOWN.

Stop staring!

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Reason #1 you should never handknit a sweater for a 7 month-old dog:

I realized after I took the pics that my camera phone lens is dirty. Sorry. I'm too pissed and bitter to clean it off and retake the pics.

The good news is I haven't assaulted the dog yet! (joke!!)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

What THEY say...

I heard somewhere that you know you're beginning to grasp a foreign language when you dream or think in that language.

I dreamed in French one night (and one night only) in 1988 during French 101.

The night I learned to knit, I dreamed of knitting the knit stitch all night.

Victoria and I were united yesterday. Last night I dreamed of my feet on the treadle. During the day, I find myself thinking about the motion of the treadle.

I don't think I'll ever fully grasp knitting or spinning, but I think I've got a lot more sweet dreams ahead.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Happy union

Today will be the union of Knitting Mother and Victoria. If you hear squeals of delight early this afternoon you can bet it will be me.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I'm a Zimmerman Fan

I have been a Zimmerman fan for a while. A long while. I've been fantasizing about the Baby Surprise Jacket for well over a year. I expect to tackle it in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I was reading her book Knitting Around when I completely fell for her Moebius Jacket (page 57). You can see an example here.

I Had. To. Knit. It. So off I trotted to one of my LYS where I promptly fell for this lovely yarn:

I just started working on it this afternoon (I'm making mine without the back seams). It's all garter stitch and completely mindless (which is important as I'm surrounded by three lively little boys).

I simply can't wait to have it done...although with Oklahoma's realtively mild winters, I may have to move to Canada to enjoy it. I think I'll go plea my case to DH!

Friday, July 20, 2007

I don't do math

I really don't do math. I have an English degree....or as I like to say: I have a B.A. in b-s. No matter that, I also realize that there is math in knitting. Sometimes there's a lot of math, sometimes there's a little math. Other times I become an obsessed lunatic and start a project that unknowingly has lots and lots of math.

Case in point: I decided to make a dog sweater for Max the Wonder Dog (he's a schnoodle).

I bought a book of doggie sweater patterns a while back, I chose some yarn (it's a dog sweater so it had to be easy wash and not a lot of dough), and went to work. I had an idea in mind, I wanted to make Max the Wonder Dog a team that he could wear around the house on game days. I pulled out some knitting graph paper and did this:

See those numbers along the sides? That's M-A-T-H. I calculated, divided, and multiplied. I like to think there was even some high-end algebra in there. When I thought I had all the numbers I needed to know where to start my design I called my knitting math genius friend and blog commentor Lindsey who validated my math and cemented the fact that I was on the fast-track to Math Genius (it's a big stretch but go with me, I need this validation).

So I started my team letters. It was fun, and I couldn't put it down. I started it around 6:00 in the evening and finished near midnight. I'm not a night owl, but by that time I was high on knitting mojo and adrenaline. My math created this:

It's not perfect and it needs to be finished and blocked, but I'm so freakin' proud that I can't stand it. I designed this part of the sweater. WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!! Again, genius with a capital G.

This may well be the last project of this type that I do, at least for a while. I'm also smart enough to know that I got lucky. I didn't have to "scale" my art on the sweater. But by golly for now I'm basking in the glow of my WIP.

Lastly, some of you have wondered what I look like. Here's a pic of me being intentionally goofy as I model my Lucy Bag. I assure that I look much much younger and thinner in real life. The blog adds at least 40 lbs. (it's a big stretch but go with me, I need this validation).